Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week. Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.” But what do gas prices have to do with interest … [Read more...]

How Current Interest Rates Can Have a High Impact on Your Purchasing Power

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 4.61%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history! The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below shows the impact that rising … [Read more...]

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds. According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32. More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) are realizing that homeownership is within their grasp now! Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home!

Every year, the New York Federal Reserve publishes the results of their Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Each survey covers a wide range of topics including inflation, labor market, household finance, credit access and housing. One of the many questions asked in the housing section of the survey was: Assuming you had the financial resources to do so, would you like to OWN instead of RENT your primary residence? Over three-quarters of respondents under the age of 50 said that they would prefer to own their home, rather than rent. While only 52.6% of those over 50 would prefer to own. The full breakdown can be found in the chart … [Read more...]

Homeownership: “A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House”

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%. Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context: “The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter … [Read more...]

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it. Living within a budget right now will help you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts that might be holding you back. What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership a reality? Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.  Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual that impact tax reform has had on the real estate market. 1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.” According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active … [Read more...]

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running

Every year, Gallup surveys Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are given a choice between real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds. For the fifth year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment! This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26%. The full results are shown in the chart below. The study makes it a point to draw attention to the contrast in the sentiment over the last five years compared to that of 2011-2012, when gold took the top slot with 34% of the votes. Real estate and … [Read more...]

Home Inspections: What to Expect

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection. This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed. How to Choose an Inspector Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTV recommends that you consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right … [Read more...]

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

We recently shared that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market. As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index … [Read more...]